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Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

"Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" doesn't have the electricity of the original, mainly because we've already seen it. Nothing more is really revealed…

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To Be Takei

“To Be Takei” is a conventional documentary that has a surprising emotional heft. A fun, informative exploration of the life of actor, activist and Trekkie…

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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The art of the title

A Brief History of Title Design from Ian Albinson on Vimeo.

Presentation video by Ian Albinson for the SXSW "Excellence in Title Design" competition screening. Visit the website.

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How Michael Caine Speaks

My interview with Michael Caine in Budapest: "The hardest thing for an actor to do is to do nothing.".

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Aaargh! I'm turning into a monster!

This film is by Krishna Shenoi, one of the Far-Flung Correspondents on my site. He is now 17, having started with these demos some years ago. Krishna is surely one of the most gifted young filmmakers and writers on the internet, Two years ago: Here is Krishna Shenoi's YouTube channel. var a2a_config = a2a_config || {}; a2a_config.linkname = "Roger Ebert's Journal"; a2a_config.linkurl = "http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/"; a2a_config.num_services = 8;

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Who goes there? A map of science-fiction

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You'll definitely need to click to expand. Sent to me by Chris Swanson, who blogs on science at wily badger. He found it here, where, incredibly, there is no credit line for the artist. Let me know who drew it. var a2a_config = a2a_config || {}; a2a_config.linkname = "Roger Ebert's Journal"; a2a_config.linkurl = "http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/"; a2a_config.num_services = 8;

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A photo of a little girl, and memories of two beloved aunts

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I did a review for our TV show this week of a new film named "I Will Follow," written and directed by Ava DuVernay. I admired it very much. It told the story of a woman who spends a day packing up the house where her beloved aunt has recently died. It was inspired by the director's Aunt Denise, who the film is dedicated to, and stars Salli Richardson-Whitfield as the "favorite niece" who must therefore be inspired to some degree by DuVernay.

Writing the review, I assumed I had never met Ava DuVernay. It turns out I had, back in the 1980s. Today she sent me an e-mail with this photo:

She explained: "When I saw you look into the camera with a smile and give your 'thumbs up,' I felt a joy and a pain, desperately missing my aunt, my love Denise, on whom the film's central relationship is based...and celebrating the approval that I've hoped for. Both emotions at the very same time. I didn't know that was possible.

"I just wanted to let you know. And to show you the attached picture of us, from many years ago. I was a little girl whose aunt took her to stand outside the Shrine Auditorium to watch the stars go to Oscar rehearsal. It was one of our many silly rituals."

I wrote her back that the dedication of one of my books reads, "For my Aunt Martha, who took me to the movies." Here is my Sun-Times written review for "I Will Follow." The film opens March 11 in AMC theaters in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Atlanta and Philadelphia, and March 18 in Chicago. It will then open wider.

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A cry from alone

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This comment was posted by "Marg" on my blog today.

Hi Zach, Your right I do believe we are just in need of companionship. They tell me get a dog and that would be nice but it's not what I need it would only be a patch. I have lost all my family and I try to keep busy with church and bible studies and anyone who will befriend me but when the day ends or the holidays come I am alone. When the summer comes everyone is planning their vacations with there families and talking about children and grandchildren which I will never have since my only child died. I would love even a special girlfriend to be a true friend one that feels like a sister. It is raining today and I can run to the gym and talk at people for companionship but what hurts the most is no one ever calls to see how you are not even my christian friends....I wonder sometimes if there is something unpleasant about me or are people not interested because I am alone like my friends with husbands they always look for others with husbands and don't want you around their husband for fear you may steal him. It stands to reason they want someone that they can do things in common with which I have little to offer those people. Singles well I've outlived that catagory. My husband divorced me at age 28 and died at age 42 from drugs which I never enjoyed. So I'm busy , I try to do things to attract friends , I have aquaintances, what do I need? Love and companionship that is directed at me , someone to call my own that is there when something hurts or I am sick or its a holiday or to plan a vacation with or just to hold at night.

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